Cleanup begins at Dakota Access pipeline protest encampment

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ Cleanup is underway at a North Dakota encampment where Dakota Access pipeline opponents have protested for months.

The Standing Rock Sioux has been fighting the pipeline and has organized the cleanup with the help of a nonprofit from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. The tribe hopes to complete the work before any spring floodwaters from the Cannonball River can wash debris into the Missouri River.

The camp is near the rivers’ confluence. It’s been home since August to hundreds and sometimes thousands of pipeline opponents. Most have left, and they’ve left behind abandoned cars, tents and trash.

Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault says the cleanup could take weeks. The cost isn’t known. It will be funded from $6 million in donations the tribe has received to support its pipeline fight.